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Protein Timing: Is It Important For Gaining Muscle?

October 15, 2019


What’s up guys? Sean Nalewanyj, SeanNal.com, BodyTransformationTruth.com. And in this video we’re talking about protein
timing. So, in other words, does it really matter
how you specifically space your protein intake out during the day, whether it’s a larger
amount of protein in fewer meals or a smaller amount of protein over a larger number of
meals? Does protein timing matter when it comes to
building muscle? And is it something that you really need to
be worrying about? Now, the simple overall answer for most people
who are watching this is not really. But it does ultimately come down to the individual,
and it does depend on your specific goals and then just how serious you are about squeezing
out the absolute maximum percentage of your hypertrophy potential in the shortest period
of time. So, let me explain what I mean by that. The data on the subject is pretty mixed. I’ll link some resources in the description
box below if that interests you. But technically speaking, someone who spaces
their protein intake out into more frequent feedings, so let’s say four to five individual
doses of protein, that person should theoretically build muscle slightly more effectively than
someone who is condensing all of their daily protein down into a smaller number of feeding. So, let’s say two to three larger meals. Just in the same way that there is a limit
on how high protein synthesis can be elevated over a given week or a given day, there’s
also a limit on how much it can be elevated by after a single meal. So, eating 120 grams of protein in two servings
of 60 grams, that isn’t going to elevate protein synthesis to quite the same degree
as eating those same 120 grams of protein in, say, four servings of 30 grams. However, and this is a big however, even though
spacing your protein out more evenly over a larger number of feedings is technically
superior. The difference will probably still be very
minor in the overall picture as long as the total amount of protein for the day as a whole
remains the same. I can’t put an exact number on it because
there’s no absolute answer here. But if six meals a day gave you a 100 percent
of your possible potential muscle growth, maybe four feedings would still give you,
you know, 97 percent and two feedings would still give you 94 percent. I’m just throwing numbers around here to make
my point. I don’t know what the actual numbers would
be. But in any case the difference is probably
small enough to where, for the average trainee, worrying about protein timing is likely just
going to cause you additional unnecessary stress and it’s going to make your diet
more complicated than it needs to be without really giving you anything significant in
return. Structuring your program with the goal of
maximizing long-term dietary adherence is very important like I’ve talked about many
times before. And if you really enjoy eating just two to
three times a day rather than five to six times a day and if you find frequent meals
to be a big inconvenience then even if eating more frequently did help you squeeze out a
few percent of extra results, you’ll probably be worse off in the long term regardless because
you’ll have a much greater chance of getting burned out and maybe even quitting. Not to mention that your overall life will
just be less enjoyable in general. So, my overall recommendation on protein timing
would be this; if you are an advanced trainee who is trying to fully maximize your genetic
potential, so maybe you compete, maybe you make a living from your physique or maybe
you’re just really passionate about bodybuilding and it’s your main life focus, then protein
timing is something you can optimize for by spacing your intake out more evenly over somewhere
between four to six meals. If the possible inconvenience of doing that
is worth it to you and you’re aware that it’s likely only going to give you a small
extra boost at best. For example, if you can identify say three
different areas of your program that could each improve your results by 3 percent each,
then go ahead and do all of those things. And maybe it will add up to 10 percent improvement
in your results in the overall picture which in that situation would be worth it. Now, for everyone else who doesn’t fit that
description, so maybe you’re still a beginner just trying to get the fundamentals down or
it’s just not worth it to you to potentially increase your gains by a few percent by rearranging
your whole daily meal structure, in that case, and again, this probably describes the majority
of people watching this including myself, just focus on hitting your overall protein
needs for the day as a whole spaced into at least two meals. And if muscle growth is your primary goal
then I would say to aim for three meals a day ideally. Two will still be effective. There are plenty of people out there who build,
you know, great physics using intermittent fasting for example. But if muscle growth is your primary aim and
you can get in three-protein feedings, then I would say to go ahead and do that. And of course, if you just prefer having four
or more protein feedings per day then that’s the ideal situation and you can just continue. And then lastly in terms of protein timing
when it comes to pre and post workout nutrition, again, not something I would overly stressed
out about the importance of highly specific pre and post-workout nutrient timing has been
way overblown in the past. And I’ll link a good meta-analysis that
was done on this by Alan Aragon and Brad Schoenfeld in the description box below if you want to
check that out. But all I would say on this is to just try
to get in a basic serving of protein within a couple hours of your workout ideally, followed
by another serving within a couple hours of finishing your work out. Waiting a little bit longer is fine. But just generally try to bracket your workout
with some protein before and some protein after. It doesn’t matter what type. It can be in solid or liquid form. And this is something that the majority of
people will just naturally do anyway without really thinking about it based on hunger alone. So again, it’s not something that I would
get too worked up about. But the bottom line here is that total protein
intake for the day as a whole is far more important than your specific protein timing. And unless you’re an advanced trainee trying
to gain every ounce of muscle possible, it’s not something that I would worry about beyond
just spacing it into two or three individual feedings and then on workout days, having
those feedings within reasonable proximity to your training session. So, thanks for watching guys. If you found this advice helpful, and you
want to get all the tools you need to gain muscle and lose fat effectively, the workouts,
the meal plans, the supplement guides along with one-on-one coaching then you can download
my body transformation blueprint by clicking here or by heading over to BodyTransformationTruth.com
using the link in the description box. If you enjoyed the video, as always, make
sure to hit the like button, leave a comment and subscribe to stay up-to-date on future
videos. You can also check out my official blog over
at SeanNal.com for all of my latest updates. And you can follow me on social media here
if you aren’t already. The links for that are also in the description
box. Thanks again for watching guys and I will
see you in the next video.

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